Could Kathryn Bigelow win two Best Director Oscars for two straight movies in less than five years? Wait, don't answer that question until you get some background.
Frank Capra won the Best Director Oscar every other year from 1934 to 1938. That's three Oscars for direction in five years. John Ford won back to back Best Director Oscars to open the 1940s and Joseph Mankiewicz duplicated the feat as the 1940s gave ways to the 1950s. Oliver Stone two home two Oscars for direction during the 1980s and Steven Spielberg matched Stone's total in the 1990s. The point being that multiple wins even within a short time span is hardly unheard of.
With "Zero Dark Thirty" shutting out the competition in the first two big pre-Oscar movie awards, the momentum has suddenly shifted from one which Steve Spielberg joins the exclusive triple Oscar club or Ben Affleck finally puts the ghost of "Daredevil" behind him with entry into the big directors club. "Zero Dark Thirty" has won Best Picture in those two pre-Oscar awards voted on by critics, but more importantly from the perspective of history, Kathryn Bigelow also took home awards for direction.
Under any other circumstances from the past, the momentum would be churning up the waters in favor of a second Oscar for any director in Bigelow's position. But you have to keep in mind that when Bigelow won her first Oscar for directing "The Hurt Locker" she became the first-and still only-woman to do so.
Getting the picture? Decade upon decade passed without a woman even being nominated for Best Director. Women directors enjoying far greater fame than Bigelow were among those continually overlooked. Finally, the glass ceiling is broken and Bigelow makes history. Here we sit a few years later and, surprise, the first woman to have a serious shot as following up on Kathryn Bigelow's achievement is…Kathryn Bigelow.
While it seemed unlikely that as many decades as it took for Bigelow to make history was going to be before another woman one, it also seemed just unlikely that the next woman so honored was going to be Bigelow again.
If "Zero Dark Thirty" does manage to continue its hot streak and bring home Best Director honors for Kathryn Bigelow from at least some of the major pre-Oscar indicators like the Golden Globes and the Directors' Guild, it could make for one of the most interesting Oscar telecasts ever. Not interesting enough to warrant sitting through the clumsy derivative humor of host Seth MacFarlane, certainly, but interesting enough to read about the next day.
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